Packing. Every traveller’s nightmare…I think we all secretly harbour that dream of being the ultimate light packer and we find tons of creative ways to lighten our backpacks. When it comes to paperwork, our imagination seems to stop and we truck around loads of paper like tickets, itineraries, insurance papers, etc. in our suitcase. And we never throw the paper our after we’re done – there’s just too much personal info on those e-tickets to just toss out! On the quest to be the ultimate light packer (because honestly? I buy tons of souvenirs and I’m too lazy to lug around 100 lbs of stuff for 3 months), here are some creative ways to carry around all your important travel documents with you.
Don’t know what documents to bring with you? There’s a list for that!
#1 – The standard paper copy
Let’s just get this one out of the way…Make a photocopy of your important travel documents and haul them around. Just make sure to leave a copy at home and/or with someone you trust.
#2 – The creative paper copy
If you can’t live without a paper version, consider trimming the photocopy down to just the essential information. For example, if you photocopied your passport front page/signature page, cut it down to size so that it looks like an actual-size replica version instead of a full 8×11 piece of paper. Then, put these little replicas in a small ziplock bag (because sometimes you spill things like beer or tacos. Yes, entire tacos and everyone likes a clean, stain-free document) and store safely.
#3 – The classic e-mail version
Not interested in hauling paper? Scan and e-mail them to yourself. Just remember that you’ll need wifi access to get to your copies. Make sure that your e-mail account is something like Gmail, Yahoo or MSN/Hotmail – a lot of countries block or censor websites and your @random-internet-provider.com web based e-mail may not be accessible.
#4 – The infamous cloud
So…storing it in your e-mail makes you a bit nervous with all the random hackings? Try a secure online storage provider. Don’t know which ones are the best? Look no further and take a gander at my list of top online storage providers. (They’re my back up to my back up for backing up my blog. Wait…back up….what?)
#5 – The paranoid laptop
So, what if I’m paranoid? After all, there are um…questionable photos of celebrities out there because of online storage hacking. If you travel with your laptop (I am never without my Mac when I travel), scan and save copies of your important documents to your hard drive. Also? Password protect your documents when you save them onto your laptop.
#6- The extremely paranoid USB drive
But laptops can be stolen right? Don’t people look for those things in a hotel room. Sure, but we’re getting a bit carried away now…anything can be stolen. However, keeping your documents scanned and saved on a thumb drive is a great idea. It’s tiny, portable and uber lightweight. Personally, I keep my documents on my laptop and on an external drive (as my double back up in case my laptop gets stolen).
#7 – Always leave a copy with family or trusted friend
You can always call home and ask them to send you copies by e-mail, fax, courier, or through your nearest embassy.
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